CDC warns travelers about measles outbreaks in neighboring countries

TAIPEI (CNA) – Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday advised travelers to be on the alert against measles when visiting other Asian countries and areas, including Hong Kong and Macau, where outbreaks of the highly contagious disease have been reported.

In Taiwan, the number of confirmed measles infections had increased to 41 as of yesterday, including 19 imported cases, according to CDC statistics.

Among the 19 imported cases, seven were from Vietnam, five from the Philippines, two from China, two from Thailand, and one each from Indonesia, Japan and Myanmar, the data showed.

CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said yesterday that measles infections have been on the rise also in Hong Kong and Macau, with the former reporting 32 cases as of March 29, 12 of which were among airport or airline staff.

In Macau, 26 cases of measles were confirmed as of March 28, he said, the highest number since 2000, while Japan had reported 319 cases as of March 17, he said.

Osaka, one of the most popular Japanese destinations for Taiwanese tourists, had the highest number of measles infections in that country, Lo said.

He advised travelers from Taiwan to seek advice at local clinics on whether they should obtain measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine 2-4 weeks before visiting countries where there are measles outbreaks.

All children between the ages of 6 months and 1 year should receive the MMR vaccine before traveling, Lo said.

By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao